INDIA, August 31, 2017 (Telegraph India, by Kanwal Sibal): The West has built a lot of myths about China which others, including in India, have accepted without challenge. That China was for centuries the dominant power in Asia and is now on the way to recovering that lost status is one such myth. This historical distortion is serving to legitimize China's hegemonic ambitions, as if China has the right to recover its natural position in Asia and any resistance amounts to denying the Chinese their due. The question is never asked as to how China dominated India, the second largest Asian country that has always been comparable in terms of the depth of civilization, demography as well as geography. Did China ever dominate India politically, economically, militarily or otherwise?
In reality, the Indian civilization owes nothing to China, whereas China is heavily marked by the influence of Indian civilization through Buddhism. A visit to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing reveals how deep the imprint of Buddhist thinking and architecture on Chinese imperial monuments is. The connection with the Indian civilization is palpable in China. There is no such imprint or legacy of Han China in India. Even in Southeast Asia, the Indian civilizational influence is far more marked than the Chinese. The pervasive influence of Hindu epics and Sanskrit on the cultural landscape of Southeast Asia is truly remarkable. Militarily too, China has not dominated Asia. In fact, China has had no historical contact with India on its land frontiers and therefore any notion that China had military supremacy in Asia is totally false.
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